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Check the Match
Always check the paint match BEFORE you apply it to your Project. Use a business card, a metal can and brush or spray out a little color and compare it to your original color.
Quick and Easy
If you are not too fussy about the repair, simply clean the area with soapy water and apply the basecoat paint to fill in the scratch or chip. Dip your brush in the paint, wipe off the excess paint, and simply dab the area. Wait at least one hour but not more than 24 hours and then apply the clear coat. If you want a really nice repair, read on.
You CAN do this!
If you are wondering if you can really apply touch up paint to your vehicle, and make it look good, the answer is yes! Just read the instructions below and take your time.
Take a little time and practice using the touch up paint before you apply it to your Project. This will give you a good feel for the paint and you can check the color match. Use a surface such as a metal can, a glossy sheet of paper, etc. to practice on. Use several light coats rather than one heavy coat when brushing or spraying the paint. Make sure you let the paint dry properly. If you really want an excellent repair, don't skip practicing!
Make sure the temperature is at least 70 degrees F.
Clean and Protect the Area
Wash the area with soap and water, then use a wax and grease remover or equivalent product (some painters have suggested tar and insect remover, available at the supermarket) before starting the project. You may wish to use masking tape (automotive quality only!) all around the scratch or chipped area to prevent accidentally marring the surface.
The first thing to determine is if the scratch has started to rust. We are talking about a surface scratch and not rust that is bubbling up beneath the paint, as this is too far-gone for touchup paint! If the area is rusty, you should take a little extra effort to remove all traces of rust using 220 grit sandpaper, followed by 400 grit to make the area smooth.
Primer / Surfacer:
A product that is made to be sanded and fill cosmetic imperfections.
Sealer or Primer / Sealer:
A product that is non-sanding, gives adhesion, where no filling and sanding is necessary.
If you have an unpainted surface, either bare metal, plastic, rubber, etc.,
APPLY Primer or Sealer, Primer / Sealer is made to stick to unpainted surfaces and paint is designed to stick to primer /Sealer!
Also, make sure you are using the correct type of primer/sealer.
Rubberized surfaces should use a rubberized primer, metal surfaces a metal primer, plastic, use a plastic primer etc. Contact us if you have any questions. Clean the area of all dust with a tack rag and apply primer to the unpainted surfaces. Let the primer dry and lightly sand with #600 grit wet and dry sandpaper. Make sure you let the primer / sealer dry for 30 minutes to one hour before applying the color coat.
Applying the Basecoat
The Basecoat is the actual color you have ordered. Apply several thin coats of paint to build up the chip to the same depth as the surrounding surface. Dab at the scratch using light coats of paint. Let it dry for ten to twenty minutes between coats. You may sand lightly with 1000 grit sandpaper between coats. However, DO NOT SAND THE FINAL COAT OF COLOR. Let the paint dry at least one hour and not more than 24 hours before applying the clearcoat.
All colors require Clearcoat to make the color shine. Even if your vehicle was originally single stage paint, all new paint must be produced in a basecoat/clearcoat combination due to environmental regulations. The color match will still be just as good as the original paint. The basecoat contains the color and the clearcoat makes them shine.
When using a Professional spray gun, 2 to 3 coats of clear will do the job, and give you enough film thickness. More coats may be needed if you plan to water sand the clear flat, before polishing. When using an Aerosol Spray Can apply several thin coats of the clearcoat, drying for fifteen to twenty minutes between each coat. You may sand the clearcoat to remove imperfections, but wait at least 24 hours after applying the final coat. Use 1000 grit wet and dry sandpaper and wet sand the area smooth using plenty of water. Let the area dry and use a good quality automotive rubbing compound to polish the area. Wait 30 days before applying automotive wax.
If your vehicle has been keyed, you have two choices. Try and fix it yourself or take it to a collision repair facility. Key scratches tend to be very long and aren't easy to fix. Follow the same procedures as described above and you can get satisfactory results. Due to the average length of a key scratch, it is going to be time consuming. The bad news is that it is also an expensive repair at a collision shop. Our advice? Try ordering the touch up paint and clearcoat and try a section of the scratch and see how it turns out. You may be pleased with the results. If not, you are out only a few dollars for touch up paint and some time, but you can still have the scratch repaired professionally.
Rechargeable spray units can cover from four to six square feet. You can achieve acceptable results by following the directions on the unit. Blending the paint into adjacent panels will achieve a much nicer and less noticeable repair especially for metallic paints. The most important thing to remember is to not spray heavy coats. Do not apply so little paint that it dries as you apply it as this creates dry spots. Spray in a dust free area. Again, practice AWAY from your Project!